Trump and Barr in Kenosha as protests continue over police shooting of Jacob Blake – live

Trump and Barr in Kenosha as protests continue over police shooting of Jacob Blake – live

20:00

Summary

From me and Joan E Greve:

  • The Trump administration has refused to join an international effort to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine. The US has chosen to go it alone, making deals directly with vaccine manufacturers. The World Health Organization, which helped coordinate the alliance among more than 170 countries says the US would be free to pursue bilateral agreements with drug companies alongside involvement in the international group, which could provide Americans with backup options should any of its vaccine efforts fail.
  • Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, as protests continue over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The president toured damaged property with several senior administration officials, including attorney general William Barr, but Trump did not meet with the family of Blake, who was repeatedly shot in the back by Kenosha police. Asked during a roundtable whether he considers violence against people of color to be a systemic problem for police departments, Trump said no.
  • Democrats have hit back at Trump and his supporters’ claims that a Biden presidency would bring more unrest. In a new campaign ad portraying right-wing violence and threats alongside police brutality against protestors, the Democrats presented a bleak depiction of “Trump’s America”.
  • A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the Manhattan district attorney from obtaining Trump’s tax returns. The three-judge panel granted a temporary stay until the president’s appeal in the case plays out in court. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 25 September.
  • Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin testified before the House subcommittee reviewing the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mnuchin indicated he still supports the passage of another coronavirus relief bill, but negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats remain stalled over the topline cost of the package.
  • New York City delayed resuming in-person classes. The city planned to resume classes next week with a combination of virtual and in-person instruction, but the start date has been pushed back to 21 September, after teachers threatened to strike over the plan.
  • The White House physician said Trump had never experienced a stroke. In a tweet this morning, the president denied having “suffered a series of mini-strokes”, in response to allegations from some of his Twitter critics. A new book reports that, during Trump’s unexpected visit to Walter Reed Medical Center last year, Vice President Mike Pence was “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized”.But the book’s author said he did not report the cause of Trump’s visit.

19:51

Julia Carrie Wong

The Russian agency that interfered in the 2016 US election created a fake leftwing news publication, staffed it with fake editors with AI-generated photos and hired real freelance reporters as part of a fresh influence operation detected and removed by Facebook, the company said on Tuesday.

The latest operation by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) was still in its early stages when it was detected thanks to a tip from the FBI, according to Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher. The network had 13 accounts and two pages, with about 14,000 total followers.

The Facebook accounts and pages were designed to bolster PeaceData.net, an English- and Arabic-language website that claims to be a “global news organization”, but whose editorial staff are fictitious. Headshots of PeaceData’s “staff” were created using Generative Adversarial Networks, a type of AI that can produce lifelike images of faces, according to Graphika, a social media analysis firm that produced a report on the IRA operation.

“They put substantial effort into creating elaborate fictitious personas, trying to make fake accounts look as real as possible,” Gleicher said.

Many of the characters had profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter said on Tuesday that it had suspended five accounts associated with PeaceData for “platform manipulation that we can reliably attribute to Russian state actors”. The company said tweets from the accounts were “low quality” and “spammy”, and that it would block links to content from PeaceData. LinkedIn did not immediately respond to a query.

19:27

Sam Levin

Two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies fatally shot a Black man after ordering him to stop on his bicycle, the latest police shooting to rock the region in recent months.

Family members identified the 29-year-old as Dijon Kizzee, 29, CBSLos Angeles reported. Officers shot him on Monday afternoon, after they tried to stop him for allegedly violating vehicle codes.

Kizzee’s body was left in the streets for hours, sparking a large demonstration of angry residents and activists demanding accountability for a sheriff’s agency with a legacy of controversial killings, brutality cases and corruption scandals.

The sheriff’s lieutenant Brandon Dean said two deputies from the South Los Angeles station had been driving in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Westmont when they saw a man riding his bicycle in violation of vehicle codes, according to the Los Angeles Times. It was not known which codes the man allegedly broke, Dean said.

Agencies contributed reporting.

19:25

In a new ad, the Democrats have hit back at Republican claims that a Joe Biden presidency would bring about lawlessness, collating video of police brutality and rightwing, white supremacist violence and threats under the banner “This is Trump’s America”.

The ad features video of the deadly Charlottesville Unite the Right rally, and of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Trump supporter who has been charged with killing two people in Kenosha.

The Democrats’ video counters ongoing messages from the Trump campaign and Republicans depicting scenes of destruction as part of “Biden’s America”.

Updated

18:46

From Adam Mahoney in Kenosha, Wisconsin:

As Donald Trump toured parts of the Wisconsin city of Kenosha on Tuesday – against the wishes of local government officials – the family of Jacob Blake, the young Black father now paralyzed after being shot by city police, had a message for the visiting US president.

Justin Blake, Jacob’s uncle, kicked off a community party on the same Kenosha block where his nephew was shot multiple times in the back by a police officer. The shooting triggered yet another harsh examination of US police practices and led to the gun deaths of two protesters, killed by a white militia supporter last week.

“We’re not going to let anyone smudge my nephew’s name,” said Justin Blake, as Trump held court elsewhere with local law enforcement and criticized the protesters who had taken to streets after the shooting.

“We don’t have any words for the orange man in the White House,” Blake added.

Trump’s visit came to a town at the center of US politics following Blake’s shooting, the nights of protest and vandalism that it triggered, and finally the deaths of two protesters allegedly at the hands of Kyle Rittenhouse, who now stands charged with murder.

Trump had billed his trip to Kenosha as a unifying move, but Blake’s family declined to meet with him and his schedule was dominated by meetings with local police officials and business leaders. He toured damaged property and paid far more attention to the destruction than to the police shooting that preceded it.

To many residents, especially Black citizens, Trump’s visit was roundly unwelcome, echoing the local mayor, John Antaramian, and Wisconsin governor, Tony Evers, who had asked the president not to come. At the local courthouse, about 100 Trump supporters and a similar number of Black Lives Matter supporters traded chants back and forth. About 50 yards away, members of the national guard sat laughing and joking behind the courthouse wall.

Jacob Ansari, a 42-year-old IT security adviser, wore a shirt depicting the Republican party being thrown into the trash. He said: “The president has no business being here and inflaming tension. He’s riling up his supporters and bringing in all these people who aren’t wearing masks and who have the potential to incite more violence.”

18:44

Speaking with Fox News, Mike Pence responded to a report in a new book that during an unexpected visit to Walter Reed medical center by Donald Trump last year, Pence was “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized”.

The vice-president told the host Brett Baier: “I don’t recall being told to be on ‘standby’… but the American people can be confident that this president is in remarkable health.”

In a tweet this morning, Trump denied having “suffered a series of mini-strokes”, responding to allegations from critics on social media. The White House physician also issued a statement never experienced a stroke. Both were apparently responding to Twitter critics, as no reputable news organization has alleged that the president suffered a stroke. Joe Lockhart, and political analyst who contributes to CNN asked whether that might have in a tweet – prompting the Trump campaign to issue a an attack on his record as a political consultant.

Updated

18:18

Critics have asked MSNBC host Joy Reid to apologize after she compared how the media talks about “the way Muslims act” to the discourse around Donald Trump’s radicalized supporters.

“When leaders – let’s say – in the Muslim world talk a lot of violent talk and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence,” Reid said, “We in the US media describe that as they are radicalizing those people – particularly they are radicalizing young people. That’s how we talk about the way Muslims act.”

“When you see what Donald Trump is doing, is that any different from what we describe as radicalizing people?” she continued.

Ilhan Omar
(@IlhanMN)

Honestly, this kinda of casual Islamophobia is hurtful and dangerous.

We deserve better and an apology for the painful moment for so many Muslims around our country should be forthcoming. https://t.co/megnZyL9dd

September 1, 2020

Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar said, “Honestly, this kinda (sic) of casual Islamophobia is hurtful and dangerous” and called on Reid to deliver “an apology for the painful moment for so many Muslims”.

The civil rights group Muslim Advocates said Reid’s “comments are the latest in a longstanding pattern. Muslim Advocates has previously raised concerns about posts on Reid’s old blog that shared similar, anti-Muslim sentiments.”

Madihha Ahussain, Muslim Advocates’s special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry, said, “an unfortunate reality for American Muslims today is that anti-Muslim comments like this are routinely made by people who are ostensibly sympathetic to us. But that should not give them a pass to promote hate.”

Updated

17:50

US won’t join international group to find coronavirus vaccine

The Trump administration said it won’t join an international group to develop and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine because of the coalition’s association with the World Health Organization.

The decision not to join more than 170 countries in the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or Covax, first reported by the Washington Post, follows the administration’s decision this summer to pull out of the WHO.

Donald Trump has often scapegoated the WHO for the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, accusing the international health agency, without evidence, of withholding information.

The WHO says that even countries like the US – which is working directly with drug manufactures to secure a vaccine – would benefit from participating in the international alliance, as Covax would provide backup options incase the ones the US is pursuing aren’t successful.

Updated

17:21

August was deadliest month for coronavirus in California and Idaho

As August came to a close, several states marked the month as their deadliest yet in battling the coronavirus pandemic, including Idaho and California.

According to an LA Times analysis, California reported 3,745 Covid-19 deaths in August, an 18% increase since July. With 700,000 coronavirus cases, California had the most in the country.

Meanwhile in Idaho, the number of deaths last month nearly doubled.

But as the US reached the milestone on Sunday of more than 6m coronavirus infections nationwide, it is midwestern states such as Iowa, North and South Dakota, as well as Minnesota that have emerged as the nation’s fastest-growing areas for the virus.

On Sunday, White House coronavirus taskforce experts cautioned Iowa lawmakers that the nation’s current hotspot should close bars in 61 counties and test all returning college students.

Still, Iowa State University planned to host 25,000 fans at its football home opener in Ames on 12 September, despite the New York Times labeling it the country’s worst coronavirus “hotspot” city.

“If we determine that mitigation measures were not followed adequately at the first game, we will have no fans at future games,” the athletic director, Jamie Pollard, told fans in a letter published on Monday.

Data supports some health officials who say the outbreak may be slowing down. Nationwide, new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and the rate of positive tests have all declined.

But while new daily cases have continued their downward trend and the rate of daily reported deaths remains well below its spring peak, the total more than doubled on average since early July. The US is currently on track to reach a sobering total of 200,000 deaths by mid-September.

The outbreak continues to wreak havoc on vulnerable groups including the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs also reported more coronavirus deaths in August compared with previous months.

Updated

17:05

Today so far

That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Maanvi Singh, will take over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, as protests continue over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The president toured damaged property with several senior administration officials, including attorney general William Barr, but Trump did not meet with the family of Blake, who was repeatedly shot in the back by Kenosha police. Asked during a roundtable whether he considers violence against people of color to be a systemic problem for police departments, Trump said no.
  • A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the Manhattan district attorney from obtaining Trump’s tax returns. The three-judge panel granted a temporary stay until the president’s appeal in the case plays out in court. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 25 September.
  • Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin testified before the House subcommittee reviewing the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mnuchin indicated he still supports the passage of another coronavirus relief bill, but negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats remain stalled over the topline cost of the package.
  • New York City delayed resuming in-person classes. The city planned to resume classes next week with a combination of virtual and in-person instruction, but the start date has been pushed back to 21 September, after teachers threatened to strike over the plan.
  • The White House physician said Trump had never experienced a stroke. In a tweet this morning, the president denied having “suffered a series of mini-strokes”, in response to allegations from some of his Twitter critics. A new book reports that, during Trump’s unexpected visit to Walter Reed Medical Center last year, Vice President Mike Pence was “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized”. But the book’s author said he did not report the cause of Trump’s visit.

Maanvi will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Updated

16:55

Trump to use CDC to block evictions – report

Trump is reportedly expected to use his executive authority to block evictions, as negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package remain stalled.

Bloomberg News reports:


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to temporarily halt evictions of consumers earning no more than $99,000 a year to prevent the virus from spreading, a senior administration official said Tuesday. The policy will take effect immediately.

The administration is acting unilaterally after failing to reach a deal with lawmakers over another round of stimulus relief funding, aimed in part at keeping renters in their homes.

To obtain the relief, renters must assert they are incapable of paying their rent or are likely to become homeless if kicked out of their property, the administration official said.

Individuals who received a coronavirus stimulus check earlier this year also qualify for the protection, as do couples who jointly file their taxes and expect to earn less than $198,000.

The move is an unprecedented use of executive authority, and may face legal challenges from landlords who have seen rental income evaporate during the crisis. But administration officials believe they have the ability under a federal law that allows the CDC to order emergency measures when it determines that state and local governments haven’t taken sufficient steps to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin testified today before the House subcommittee reviewing the federal response to the pandemic, and he signaled he still supported passing another relief bill, but the White House and congressional Democrats have been unable to agree on a topline cost for the package.

16:37

Democratic nominee Joe Biden raised at least $350m in August, according to Bloomberg News.

Tyler Pager
(@tylerpager)

NEWS: The Biden campaign and DNC will report raising more than $350 million in August. Final number is still being calculated and could be higher. https://t.co/gj24VleGcO

September 1, 2020

The New York Times reported earlier today that Biden’s August fundraising total was at least $300m, representing a record-breaking sum.

But Biden’s team is still totaling the money that was raised, and it now appears the final figure will be closer to $400m.

In comparison, Hillary Clinton raised $143m in August 2016. The current single-month fundraising record is believed to be held by Barack Obama, who raised $193m in September 2008.

Updated

16:18

During his roundtable in Kenosha, Trump briefly acknowledged the widespread protests against racism and police brutality, but he quickly pivoted to his calls for “law and order”.

Aaron Rupar
(@atrupar)

“They want law and order … where they aren’t raped and murdered” — Trump simply refuses to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter protesters have any valid claims whatsoever pic.twitter.com/qBzcPbvId6

September 1, 2020

“I think people are calling for structural change, and then you could take the people of Kenosha … that you won’t see and that aren’t protesting, but they want change also. They want to see law and order. That’s the change they want,” Trump told reporters, as they pressed the president for his thoughts on the protests, which have been mostly peaceful.

“They want people that are going to keep them safe, where their houses aren’t being broken, where they’re not raped and murdered. That’s what they want. And they’re protesters, too, but they don’t walk down the street, up and down the street.”

Updated

15:54

Trump dodges questions about mostly peaceful protests

Trump said he does not consider violence toward Americans of color to be a systemic issue for police departments.

Taking questions after his roundtable on community safety in Kenosha, Trump said, “I think the police do an incredible job, and I think you do have some bad apples.”

Aaron Rupar
(@atrupar)

Q: Do you believe systemic racism is a problem in this country?

TRUMP: “We should talk about the kind of violence we’ve seen in Portland and here and other places… you have anarchists, and you have the looters, and you have the rioters… that’s what you should be focused on.” pic.twitter.com/vZEaXflAub

September 1, 2020

The president argued some of the recent police violence stems from officers being “under this tremendous pressure” and not handling those situations well.

“They call it choking, and it happens,” Trump said.

The president repeatedly dodged questions about the recent protests against racism and policing, which have been mostly peaceful. When reporters pressed Trump for his thoughts on the protests, he kept trying to redirect the conversation.

“Well, you know, you just keep getting back to the opposite subject,” Trump told one reporter who asked about the protests. “We should talk about the kind of violence that we’ve seen in Portland and here and other places.”

15:36

Trump has repeatedly indicated that the situation in Kenosha, Wisconsin, improved after the state’s Democratic governor called in the National Guard.

Yamiche Alcindor
(@Yamiche)

Officials in Wisconsin continue to stress that Pres Trump is not telling the truth when he says law enforcement in Kenosha has been federalized. Gov Evers deployed Wisconsin National Guard troops & got National Guard troops from other states.

FBI & US Marshals are also helping.

September 1, 2020

But it’s worth noting that Governor Tony Evers deployed Wisconsin National Guard troops and used some National Guard members from other states, but none of those troops have been federalized. It was not Trump who called in the National Guard.

Some federal agents from the FBI and the US Marshals Service are also helping in Kenosha.

15:15

Days after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Trump praised the “great people” who serve as law enforcement officers.

“We’re all safe, and we’re safe because of law enforcement,” Trump said during his roundtable on community safety in Kenosha. “And we honor you.”

The president then called on Americans to “condemn the dangerous, anti-police rhetoric” whenever it arises.

It’s worth noting that Trump received criticism yesterday, when he refused to condemn the alleged actions of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who has been charged with murdering two protesters in Kenosha.

15:00

Trump is now holding a roundtable on “Wisconsin community safety” in Kenosha, amid ongoing protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The president opened the roundtable by asking, “Where is my Reince?” That was a reference to Trump’s first White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who is from Wisconsin.

Trump said his visit today was meant to show support for the people of Kenosha and the people of Wisconsin.

“The state of Wisconsin has been very good to me,” Trump said.

The president carried Wisconsin by less than 1 point in 2016, and Trump’s team views the state as crucial for his reelection effort.

14:41

Appeals court rules Manhattan DA cannot get Trump’s tax returns for now

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Manhattan district attorney may not immediately obtain Trump’s tax returns.

A three-judge panel granted the president’s request for a temporary stay as his legal team appeals a previous decision allowing Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance access to his financial records.

“The question at this juncture is quite simple but also quite important,” one of the president’s lawyers, William Consovoy, said. “Will the president be given an opportunity to appeal that ruling before his personal records are disclosed to the grand jury and the status quo is irrevocably changed?”

Consovoy criticized the DA’s subpoena as part of an “arbitrary fishing expedition,” but Vance’s team has said they need a wide range of documents to aid a “complex financial investigation.”

Trump’s appeal is expected to be resolved in a matter of weeks, with a hearing in the case set for 25 September.

The appeals court’s decision comes two months after the supreme court rejected the president’s argument that he was immune from grand jury requests.

Updated

14:21

After arriving in Kenosha, Trump surveyed property that had been damaged amid recent protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Zeke Miller
(@ZekeJMiller)

Trump in Kenosha pic.twitter.com/MyK07qPnX5

September 1, 2020

The president is also scheduled to soon participate in a roundtable on “Wisconsin community safety,” but Trump is not expected to meet with Blake’s family.

Meanwhile, the site of Blake’s shooting has turned into a block party, as his family calls for “healing the community”.

Patrick Marley
(@patrickdmarley)

The scene of Jacob Blake’s shooting has been turned into a block party as President Trump visits another part of Kenosha. pic.twitter.com/fmkilI4sUY

September 1, 2020

Updated

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